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Prefix : Prefix Used to Write Opposite Words for Class 3 English

In this chapter, the students will learn about prefixes that are used to write opposite words. They will learn about the uses of prefix, common errors made while using them and exceptions to the prefix rules.

In this learning concept, the students will learn to:

  • Form a useful opposite word with a prefix.
  • List of negative prefix that include opposite words starting with ‘im’, ‘dis’, ‘un’, ‘mis’, ‘in’, ‘il’, and ‘ir’.
  • Give meaning and list of common prefixes.

Each concept is explained to class 3 English students using illustrations, examples, and mind maps. You can assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page. Download the worksheets and check the solutions for the concept, make antonyms using prefixes provided in PDF format.

Definition : 

  • Prefix means a group of letters that is added at the beginning of a word to form a new word.
  • Prefixes are also used to create opposite words or antonyms. Few prefixes are as follows: mis-, in-, dis-, ir- , im- , il-, un-
  1. Mis + understand= Misunderstand
  2. In + correct= incorrect
  3. Dis +appear= disappear

Meaning of Prefixes :

Prefixes are used to make negative words like untidy, discomfort Let’s take a look at the meaning of a few prefixes.

1. The prefix un - means ‘not’.

    Example: lock – unlock

2. The prefix dis- means ‘not or ‘the opposite of’.

    Example: obey – disobey

3. The prefix mis- means ‘a mistake’.

    Example: Use – Misuse

Uses of Prefixes:

     1. Prefixes are often used to give adjectives a negative meaning. Look at the examples given           below with the meaning written in the brackets.


            a. kind (good-natured)) – unkind (rude to others)

            b. decent (respectable) – indecent (not appropriate)

      2. Prefixes are used to create opposites of verbs prefixes like in- and dis- can be seen

    1. appear – dis appear
    2. agree – dis agree
    3. approve -dis approve
    4. believe - dis believe
    5. connect-dis connect
    6. like - dis like

Examples of common opposite words with prefix

Use – Misuse Advantage – Disadvantage

1. Opposites with the dis prefix words:

Main Word Word with Prefix
Agree Disagree
Comfort Discomfort
Honest Dishonest
Appear Disappear
Honour Dishonour
Like Dislike
Main Word Word with Prefix
Ability Disability
Appoint Disappoint
Belief Disbelief
Honest Dishonest
Connect Disconnect
Order Disorder
Satisfied Dissatisfied

2. Opposites with the im prefix words :

Main Word Word with Prefix
Patient Impatient
Movable Immovable
Moral Immoral
Balance Imbalance
Partial Impartial
Main Word Word with Prefix
Mortal Immortal
Possible Impossible
Pure Impure
Polite Impolite
Probable Improbable
Mature Immature

3. Opposite words with the prefix ‘in’

Main Word Word with Prefix
Active Inactive
Ability Inability
Effective Ineffective
Formal Informal
Efficient Inefficient
Attentive Inattentive
Justice Injustice
Complete Incomplete
Main Word Word with Prefix
Accurate Inaccurate
Correct Incorrect
Decent Indecent
Direct Indirect
Equality Inequality
Attentive Inattentive
Sufficient Insufficient
Valid Invalid
Sane Insane

4. Opposite words with the prefix ‘Mis’

Main Word Word with Prefix
Conduct Misconduct
Interpret Misinterpret
Lead Mislead
Manage Mismanage
Behave Misbehave
Main Word Word with Prefix
Understand Misunderstand
Fortune Misfortune
Chief Mischief
Use Misuse

5. Opposite words with the prefix ‘Un’

Main Word Word with Prefix
Do Undo
Known Unknown
Usual Unusual
Wise Unwise
Pleasant Unpleasant
Fortunate Unfortunate
Common Uncommon
Able Unable
Avoidable Unavoidable
Main Word Word with Prefix
Authorized Unauthorized
Kind Unkind
Fit Unfit
Conscious Unconscious
Clear Unclear
Necessary Unnecessary
Foreseen Unforeseen
Sure Unsure
Educated Uneducated

6. Opposite words with the prefix ‘il’:

Main Word Word with Prefix
Logical Illogical
Legal Illegal
Legible Illegible
Literate Illiterate


7. Opposite words with the prefix ‘ir’:

Main Word Word with Prefix
Rational Irrational
Regular Irregular
Relevant Irrelevant
Reparable Irreparable
Replaceable Irreplaceable

Common Mistakes

1. The prefix in- does not have a negative meaning always. It often means ‘inside’ or ‘into’, for instance, internal, income, and insert.

2. The antonym of a word must be exactly the same part of the speech as that particular word.


      1. Adjective – Antonym – (good-bad)
      2. Verb – Antonym – (hate - love)
      3. Noun – Antonym – (strength-weakness)

3. Do not forget to use im- before a word that starts with ‘m’ or ‘p'.

    Example : immature, impatient, improbable.

4. Similarly, ir- before a word that begins with ‘r’ and il- before a word that starts with ‘l’, for example, irreplaceable, illegal, illegible, illiterate, irreversible.


    1. Not all words starting with ‘dis’ are an antonym.

                   distinguish means ‘to differentiate’.

                   I am unable to distinguish between the two.

              2. Not all words starting with ‘im’ are an antonym.


                   impart means to convey or pass on.

                    It is a teacher’s job to impart knowledge to students.

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